A New Type Of Carbon Super-Hard Material
An international team led by Carnegie’s Lin Wang has discovered a new substance that is hard enough to dent diamonds, though it is not quite crystalline and not quite non-crystalline. All solid matter comes in one of two forms: either it has an ordered, crystalline structure, like quartz or iron or diamonds, or it is non-crystalline or amorphous, like glass or gels; this new substance has both of them. The new substance is characterized as a “hybridization of crystalline and amorphous structures at an atomic level”. Astonishing is that after the substance was subjected to a pressure of 600,000 atmospheres it retained its structure. Lin Wang claims, that once created under extreme pressures, this material can exist at normal conditions and could be used for a wide range of practical applications, e.g. as a protective coating.